Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday Reminder: New Years Eve Special!

In honor of New Years Eve, I think this was especially appropriate.

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country. - Anais Nin


Friday, December 21, 2012

Cozy Holiday Linkup / Favorite Things Friday

Earlier this week, one of my favorite bloggers Nicholl shared that she and Neely were hosting a link up for today.  Considering that Wisconsin get completely dumped on with the winter weather this week, Nicholl and Neely's "Cozy Holiday Linkup" was just the thing I needed!

(Also, since these photos pretty much also represent everything awesome that happened to me this week, I'm linking up with Lauren like always as well.  Even if it's not my top 5... because let's be real, narrowing down 5 favorite cozy things is impossible... it's pretty true to my original Favorite Things Friday posts I was doing way back when and since I used to link up then, I'm stretching the rules and doing so again.)

Ok, without further ado... Rikki's Favorite Cozy Things that Happen to be Posted on a Friday.  Or something like that...

I wrote this post as the wind whistled outside, a pie was in the oven, the girls were sleeping in a little ball on a stool in the kitchen, I was wearing a fuzzy sweater with fuzzy socks and leggings, and I was singing along to Christmas music... if that doesn't spell cozy, I don't know what does.

Happy holidays, friends!  I doubt I'll get around to writing this weekend but you never know.  If not, have a wonderful weekend!



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Just a Little Something We Can Do...

A few days ago, while reading through some of my favorite blogs, I stumbled upon a little announcement about "Operation: Friendship for Newtown."  Like the group on Facebook if you want the most current info or want to follow along.
The gist of it is that this wonderful woman is collecting green and white friendship bracelets for the kids at Sandy Hook.  Remember back when those little friendship bracelets meant the world to you?  Yep, we're giving that little bit of love and hope back to these kids.  I went out and bought embroidery floss tonight (10 skeins of each color for a grand total of $7.00....... I mean come on.  It's the least we can do) and plan to spend my free time in the car this weekend making as many of these as my little fingers can handle.

Even though it's a minor thing for me to be sharing this with my limited audience, I wanted to anyway.  If you have any free time in the next week or so, please consider doing a little something for the students whose lives have literally been shattered.  It's not much but it's something we all can do so they know they haven't been forgotten.


The Procedure: Margaret Belle

I've shared before that I tend to download a lot of free Kindle books and that a lot of them are pretty terrible or trashy.  Recently, however, I discovered an awesome website called Book Bub which sends a daily email - customized based on your stated interests - sharing a few free or "on sale" e-book recommendations.  I get 4-5 books every day that I might like to download to my Kindle.  Let's just say I've been adding a lot of books to the queue that I haven't had time to read yet!  Best part?  I'm not spending a dime to do so.  I highly recommend you check it out.
No disclaimer needed - Book Bub has no flipping idea who I am so I can guarantee I won't get any special perks by recommending them.

One of the first books I downloaded based on a Book Bub recommendation was The Procedure by Margaret Belle.  The story focuses on a woman named Melanie who is volunteering some time working at a fertility clinic.  She has a long-standing relationship with the clinic - she and her sister were "products" of the doctor's fertility treatments and she is a single mom raising a son who was also born due to the work of the clinic.

The story quickly takes a weird turn.  In some ways, I believed it was a little too quick - there are definitely parts of this book that need to be better developed and plot lines that need more explanation.  That being said, it is rare that I read a medical suspense story that I don't get completely confused by.  This was an exception.

Like many of the other books I've read in recent years, The Procedure made me question the world we live in.  Have we taken such a moral downturn that it is just accepted that our bodies do not truly belong to us?  Are these medical advances really making the world a better place?  Is this a problem with specific individuals or is it more a commentary on our society as a whole?

If you're at all into medical mysteries, I suggest you check this one out.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thoughts From Monday

As I write this, it is Monday night.  It was a great day at work but I'm tired after not sleeping well Sunday.  I came home after work, warmed up some leftovers for dinner, poured a glass of wine, and am curled up on the couch with two little fluff balls.  I'm keeping the heat somewhat low in my new place to save on energy costs and it's a perfect excuse for lots of cuddling this winter.  You don't see me complaining about it...

It's officially winter here.  I forgot my mittens this morning and by the time I got to work, my hands were severely dry and chapped.  No amount of lotion throughout the day would save them.  By the time I got home tonight, the cuticle on my right hand was so dry and chapped that it was bleeding.  By January, I will be quite a mess.

While watching today's episode of Jeopardy, something I watch almost every day, I realized why I have never completed the Jeopardy test myself.  One woman competing this evening was virtually useless during the first round... on every question except those relating to booze.  She rocked the "Christmas Spirits" category, knowing answers such as peppermint schnapps and bourbon.  I know that would end up being me.

I'm getting a new mattress for Christmas (thanks Mom & Dad!) and need to pick out some new bedding.  I'm at a total loss for what I want to buy.  Apparently "something neutral that matches the carpeting" is trickier to find than I might have expected.

I have barely started my Christmas shopping.  I order the bf's present last night - thankfully I found a great price on the perfect present but that means I need to pick up something else that is small which might be very tricky as he's impossible to shop for.  I haven't done anything for anyone else though.  Something about this year doesn't feel like Christmas.  I think it's all the moving and changes.  my mind just isn't there yet.  Hopefully I get into the Christmas spirit in the next week.  Apparently the three Christmas trees in my house mean nothing.

I don't even know what to say about the tragedy that happened last week.  As I was writing this post, I watched the tribute on The Voice and sobbed like a baby.  What else is there to do?

(And that my friends is a very random post.  Just sharing my thoughts - both happy and sad - for the night.)


Monday Reminder: Dreams Can Come True

"All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. - Walt Disney


Friday, December 14, 2012

It's Friday (Friday)

Am I the only one who sings this ridiculously annoying song in her head every single time she thinks about writing a Favorite Things Friday / High Five for Friday post?  Yes?  Moving on then....

As always (or when I have time to write these Friday posts) I'm linking up with Lauren!

1.  Did you see the announcement yesterday about the new Facebook page?  Still getting it 100% up and running but give it a look and like it if you feel so inclined!

2.  I'm finishing my second week at the new job and I confirm every single day that it was the right move for me to make.  Of course I miss my friends and coworkers from Kentucky and loved the work I was doing there.  But I am constantly amazed by the good work being done by my new employer and know that I will be able to make a huge difference by utilizing my talent here.

3.  Likewise, I've been living in my new apartment for just over two weeks and I still love it here too!  It's finally starting to look like a real home - as long as you don't look in the disorganized closets or ignore the stack of packing supplies about a mile high in the garage.  Plus I'm still missing a dining room table.  Anyone feeling generous and want to contribute to the "I really like a table that's a little out of my price range right now" fund?

4.  More than me liking the new place, my cats freaking love it.  They spend hours every night running up and down the stairs, chasing each other from room to room, and exploring closets.  Seeing them settle in makes a huge difference for me.

5.  The best thing about the last two weeks?  Getting to see my friends and family on a regular basis.  Unfortunately, I'm not making the trek to Minneapolis to celebrate my best friend's birthday this weekend like originally planned but just knowing that all of my favorite people (minus my little sister) are just a short drive away is a huge relief.  Already feels like home.

Happy weekend everyone!



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Introducing: The Brand New Facebook Page

Let's all take a moment to think back a few years.  Let's choose... May 9, 2005... shall we?

Thinking back to that date for me and my friends, the topic of conversation was all about Facebook.
"When will we get it?" (Remember, this is back when you had to have a university email address to join)
"Will you join if we do get it?" (Not everyone did)
"Do your friends have it?" (Afterall, I went to a relatively small, somewhat obscure college so we certainly weren't on the short list of schools that were early adopters)
"What the heck is Facebook anyway?" (I think the website was actually still back then)

May 11, 2005 - at least according to my timeline - I joined Facebook.  Since then, I think it's safe to say that the future of communication and relationships in general has been changed forever.  Not that I'm complaining.  I love that I can keep in touch with 1,000 "friends" - many who I haven't seen in years and some who I have technically never met.  There's an element of creep-itude about the whole Facebook thing as well but that's for another post.

All of this is to say that I finally bit the bullet.  Want to follow along with the blog even when I'm a little too busy to type out an entire post?  Click that little icon up in the top right corner - the one with the little F - and like me.  Please... I'll beg you.  I've been waffling on the whole "creating a Facebok page" debate for a while but I finally gave in and would love some validation that it was the right decision!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What I'm Reading Wednesday


I genuinely love Casey Leigh's gift of storytelling.  I read this post for the first time a few weeks ago.  I was trying to wake up for the day, coffee mug gripped in my hands.  It was my last day of work at the old job and I was needing a moment of calm before I embarked on my day.  As always, she delivered.  I ached to be able to write like this - weave a spell, set a scene, tell a story.

I stumbled upon a blog a while back that a remarkable woman writes.  Stephanie and her husband were in a terrible accident a few years back and yet her blog is full of hope, of peace, and of love.  It's an incredible reminder to be thankful for what you've been given and for persevering no matter what.  I read this post after a bit of a bad day when I was feeling sorry for myself.  So inspirational.

This post was the first I read on Oh Joy! but I knew I was hooked.  If you come to a dinner party at my house anytime soon (tough since I don't have a dining room table, but whatever), expect something similar.  So cute!  

Stop over and show these bloggers some love!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Good, Bad, and Ugly

Since I never have time to think of my Friday things anymore, I figured I'd do the Good, Bad and Ugly linkup to fill you all in on what I've been doing.

First, the Good.
So many good things.  I've got one week of the new job under my belt and so far, I'm loving it.  My new co-workers seem great, the job is going to be amazing (once I actually start working), and the company is one I can be proud of.  I'm also loving being back home in general - being able to see my family (and yes, of course, my boyfriend) on a regular basis is something that can't be measured.  It's amazing.

Next, the Bad.
I haven't even started my Christmas shopping. Now that there's actually snow on the ground (add the whole "having to shovel" thing to the bad list), I feel like it's actually Christmas and I need to hurry up and get organized.  Hopefully I'll get some things done next week.

Last, the Ugly.
My townhome is a disaster zone.  Every time I take 3 steps forward in terms of unpacking, it gets a little messier with packing paper, flattened boxes, and balls of tape everywhere.  Plus, there's a giant red wall in my living room that needs to be painted ASAP.  Red walls are definitely not my thing and it makes me all nervous and angry.

That's it.  Nothing too exciting going on around here.  Just trying to get settled in and get through the holidays so I can figure out what my routine will be.

Incorporating Color


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Don't Read This if You Love "Baby It's Cold Outside"

Remember yesterday when I posted about the holiday music swap?

So it's no real secret that I love Christmas music.  I love old classics almost as much as I love current pop holiday tunes.  That being said, there is one song that it's wildly popular which I absolutely cannot stand.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

If you don't want it ruined forever, please stop reading.  But it more than just bugs me so I think I'm allowed to share why.

Monday, December 3, 2012

(Almost) Late to the (Swap) Party

Ah, Monday.  I am beyond exhausted.  Almost forgot to post in order to link up for the great swap I just did.

First, let me preface with the "yeah, yeah, I know I haven't been writing lately" apology.  For me, the holidays always mean a lot of time in the car listening to Christmas music while driving, traveling with the cats, and visiting with family.  This year the holidays also mean a major cross-country move (2 weeks ago), my first holiday with my boyfriend's family (Thanksgiving), a new apartment (just moved in last Thursday), and a brand new job (first day was today).

I always start listening to Christmas music right after Thanksgiving and this year had the pleasure of adding a ton of new songs to my iPod thanks to a "Jingle Bell Rock" holiday mix "tape" swap I decided to participate in.  I kind of wasn't planning on moving right at this time as well so I had to cram in the creation of a playlist over my last weekend in Lexington... but imagine my surprise when my partner turned out to be a fellow Wisconsin-ite!  It was just another sign that it was the perfect time for me to be moving back!

The mix Sara sent me is amazing - a fabulous mixture of new and old favorites.

Excellent job, Sara!  How have I missed the amazing-ness that is Straight No Chaser?!

What a fun swap!  I can't wait until I get settled in a little more and Sara and I have a chance to meet up in person.  Make sure to check out her blog over at You.And.Me.Are.We and show her some love.

P.S. Check back tomorrow for when I explain how much I hate "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and why, as well as why one of these never-before-heard songs made me happy because it was soooo much better!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Reminder: A Brand-New Path

"Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman."  - Maya Angelou


Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Reminder: Surrender to the Dance

"The art of living is based on rhythm — on give and take, ebb and flow, light and dark, life and death. By acceptance of all aspects of life, good and bad, right and wrong, yours and mine, the static, defensive life, which is what most people are cursed with, is converted into a dance... The acceptance of the situation, any situation, brings about a flow, a rhythmic impulse towards self-expression. To relax is, of course, the first thing a dancer has to learn... It is extremely difficult, because it means surrender, full surrender."  -Adapted from Henry Miller


Saturday, November 17, 2012


With all of the moving and packing going on in my house again, the cats are driving me crazy!  Lady Bug is smart enough to know that something big is going on and is constantly trying to figure out what that might be.  Charlie is just anxious and confused, which makes for a lot of whining at 4:30 every morning.

While trying to get some things organized a few nights ago, Lady Bug made camp on the bed like a normal cat.  Charlie decided she was done with the whole thing and packed herself away, ready to get moved.  She refused to leave the box, no matter how much I coaxed.

At least in the box, she wasn't under foot.  Once she decided that she'd rather travel in the suitcase, she was just making a mess.

I think we'll all be happy to get this move over and get settled in our new place.  The big drive takes place on Tuesday!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Throwback Thursday

My best friend and I at my going away party four years ago when I moved to the dirty South.  Hard to believe I'm moving back north in less than a week...


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I'm Reading Wednesday

As I mentioned yesterday, I just haven't been feeling inspired to do this whole blogging thing with everything else that's going on.  Just because I'm not writing as much doesn't mean that I'm not reading though!  I keep finding these amazing blog posts that say exactly what I want to say so I figured instead of writing today, I'd share some of my favorite bloggers and their posts from this week that have inspired me.  Maybe you'll learn something or find someone new to read.  You never know...

Incorporating Color
I have no idea how I found Kati, but she's one of my favorite bloggers.  Kati, if you're reading this, did you know that?  I think we'd be friends in real life.  Anyway.  Swing over there and show her some blog love is you feel so inclined.
Kati wrote this post this week about why she moved to Nebraska.  I kind of feel the same way about why I'm moving to Marshfield.  I mean, yes it's in my home state but it isn't exactly where I thought I'd end up.  Thanks for putting my thoughts into words, Kati!

The Chiffon Diary
Nicholl is one of the few fashion bloggers I follow religiously.  I wish I were half that cute.  She's also hysterically funny.  I've been thinking about doing one of the "Fact Is..." linkups and always forget about them until I read hers and than I realize I'm not all that funny.  Her perspective on life is fabulous and she'll make you giggle.  Good enough for me!

I started reading Alycia's blog a while back and kept reading because she is one of the most honest and adorable people I have stumbled upon on the internet.  This post from Monday is especially amazing.  We all need a reminder to judging one another sometimes.  I know I do!

Girl. Inspired.

If I could sew - which someday I'm determined to learn for real - I would totally make myself this jacket.  Amazing.

See anything you really love?  Click over and let them know!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Warrior Woman

I know I haven't been writing much lately and I apologize.  I don't have much to say.  I'm wrapping up my last week here so I've been busy but I don't really have plans made for the next chapter either.  I mean, I have a job offer but am still waiting for paperwork to come back so it's official, I have an apartment but I've never seen it (special thanks to my mom for taking a day off to do that for me!) so I can't really start planning how to decorate things, a moving company is most likely doing all of the packing and loading of my stuff... nothing is really happening even though a major life change is about to take place.

Everything is just in a holding pattern.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not good at sitting still so it's driving me crazy.

When I get stressed I suddenly feel the need to take on the world, all by myself.  For some reason, I think I'm a warrior woman who can accomplish everything on her own.  This time though, because of the aforementioned holding pattern, I have nothing that I can accomplish.  So instead of just driving myself crazy, I'm driving everyone around me crazy.

I know from past experience that one of the best ways for me to snap out of it is to literally put myself together - get up in the morning, take a hot shower, do my hair and makeup (not something I do every day - clearly this is not a fashion blog), put on a "strong" outfit, and face the world head on.  So this morning, I went to my go-to warrior woman work outfit.  I can honestly say it's making a difference.

Since I don't plan to share an actual picture of my outfit, here's a sampling.  Let's be real, none of this is what I'm actually wearing because my outfit has been hanging in my closet for quite a while but I tried!

Warrior Woman Outfit

(What, what!  My first Polyvore.  Still not a fashion blog so don't expect many more in the future!)

While it might not look like anything special to you, it makes me feel like I can take on anything.  Do you have a go to Warrior Woman look that helps you put a new attitude on when you're stressed?  I'd love to know what works for you!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Reminder: Think, Feel, Do

Happiness cannot come from without.  It must come from within.  It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes up happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves. - Helen Keller


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lovers of Words

One of the things I have loved about working at a university - and one of the things I will miss the most - is the opportunity to participate in a community of scholars, even though I am (not yet) a professor.  

I've shared reviews of books that I read in conjunction with a university project a few times in the past and I want to share one more before I leave here.

The incoming class at this university was required to read a few common texts.  Being a book / language nerd and a lover of fictionalized history (note: that, in my mind, is very different than historical fiction), I was very excited to get my hands on one of the texts for the year, The Professor and the Madman, a book discussing the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary.  I mean really, is there a more perfect book out there for someone like me to read?!

I read this book in a matter of hours.  I found it full of interesting historical anecdotes, rich in the history of language, and - simply put - a really good story.  The book focuses on two men who are unparalleled in their contribution to the English language: Professor James Murray, who oversaw the committee collecting entries for the OED, and Dr. W. C. Minor, a previously unknown man who contributed tens of thousands of entries in the collection process.  This remarkable tale focuses on the relationship between the two men, as well as their lives aside from the OED, especially after it comes to light that Dr. Minor is serving time in an asylum for  the criminally insane after murdering a man due to his constant paranoia

This book is one of those stories that is so outlandish that it's must be true.  The history surrounding the most ambitious language project our world has ever seen is sensational enough and the task was nearly impossible.  But the lives of those who contributed to the process are even more amazing.  Simon Winchester did a wonderful job of sharing their stories and drawing the reader into their task.  For anyone who is a lover of words the way I am, The Professor and the Madman is a must read.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Reminder: How Lucky I Am

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." - A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

I usually leaves these reminders without a lot of explanation but this one begs for a little extra.  Thank you to my friend Cathy for sharing this quote on her blog a few weeks ago.  It is so incredibly appropriate in my life right now and Winnie the Pooh holds a special place in my heart and in my family.  For the last few months, it's been so hard to say goodbye when I leave home after seeing my friends and family (and of course the boyfriend).  Now it's hard to say goodbye to Kentucky when the move back home is actually happening.  I'm a lucky girl to have so many wonderful things to say goodbye to.

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